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Las Vegas shooting could have major impact on future of hotel security in U.S.

Expert believes hotels could modify security to be more like TSA at airports

DETROIT – The deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas has raised questions about the hotel industry and changes it might have to make in security.

Ever since 9/11, the country has become more aware of what police call soft target venues, which would include the MGM Grand in Detroit.

Police and hotel security members spend a lot of time talking about what to do and who will do what if an incident like the shooting in Las Vegas breaks out.

After at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were hurt in Las Vegas, it's possible the discussion will seriously ramp up.

Visitors can't bring a gun into the MGM Grand casino or any other Detroit casino unless they are an on-duty police officer.

University of Detroit criminology professor and former Detroit Police Department Chief Charles Wilson said people aren't supposed to carry in hotels, either.

"The big hotels usually put up signs that say weapons are not allowed on the premises," Wilson said.

But signs aren't enforcement, and Wilson said it's not out of the question that hotel entrances need to be treated like a TSA stop at the airport.

"I think you'll start possibly, just like going to an airport, they'll have magnetometers," Wilson said. "You could have other types of security sweeps on the application of technology to try to identify someone who was smuggling in weapons."

This type of increased security would mean a more expensive hotel rate, because security is costly.

The Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association said it will be listening very carefully to what the Las Vegas investigation reveals.

In a statement, the association said, "As a business that is centered on serving the public, no issue is more important than safety and security. Hotels have safety and security procedures in place that are regularly reviewed, tested and updated, as are their emergency response procedures. As we better understand the facts in the coming days, we will continue to work with law enforcement to evaluate these measures."

That's the reality overseas, particularly in the Middle East. Hotel security operates like TSA, and that might very well be joining travelers in the U.S.


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